President Barack Obama
Where he started: The president warned before it happened that the idea of a shutdown was a nonstarter as far as he was concerned and wouldn't change the future of his signature health care act.
Along the way: Obama adopted a largely hands-off approach to resolving the shutdown, refusing to make any concessions to House Republicans and leaving most negotiations to congressional leaders.
Where he ended up: Obamacare emerged largely unscathed, and many pundits declared the president the winner — if anyone is — of the shutdown for his no-nonsense approach.
Where he goes from here: With the shutdown behind him, Obama has laid out a more modest approach than he began his second term with, focusing on a three-pronged approach for the immediate future: passing a farm bill, overhauling immigration law and writing a new budget.
Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio
Where he started: The House speaker lost control of the debate when Sen. Ted Cruz launched a drive to close much of the government if Democrats wouldn't agree to “defund Obamacare.” Boehner urged his colleagues to focus on the debt ceiling instead, saying the threat of default would give them greater leverage to demand spending cuts.
Along the way: Boehner initially tried to unite his conference around a plan that had a little bit for everyone. But conservatives and their advocacy groups balked and Boehner was forced to set his plan aside.
Where he ended up: He acceded to the demands of the White House and Democratic-led Senate in a deal to end the partial shutdown and avert a potential debt crisis. He pledged that the fight over “the train wreck that is the president's health-care law will continue.” Yet, he said, blocking the bipartisan deal emerging from the Senate ending the shutdown would only create a “risk of default” on U.S. debt.
Where he goes from here: The Republican leader has tough fights coming in the fiscal debates pushed to January and February. His ability to legislate will be tested. His success depends on the GOP agreeing on some lessons learned in this struggle and on his ability to lead more and listen less to fractious forces within his own party. Republicans say his position as speaker will be unchallenged in the year ahead.
Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev.
Where he started: The Senate majority leader helped pass a funding bill through the Senate, with no strings attached, and he warned Republicans in control of the House that the Senate wouldn't approve any halt of the Affordable Care Act. Any bill “that defunds Obamacare,” he said, “is dead — dead.”
Along the way: Reid was steadfast in his opposition to defunding or delaying the health care law. He refused to appoint senators to a conference committee the House set up, for example.
Where he ended up: It was a compromise crafted by Reid and his Senate minority leader counterpart, Mitch McConnell, that ended the government shutdown and raised the debt limit.
Where he goes from here: Reid now moves on to the budget talks mandated by the compromise.
Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Where he started: The Senate minority leader was a staunch proponent of the GOP strategy to defund Obamacare. He repeatedly urged his Democratic colleagues in the Senate to approve the “perfectly reasonable legislation” that the Republican-led House was sending over, so the government could avoid a shutdown.
Along the way: McConnell largely kept out of the spotlight as the shutdown began. Matt Bevin, his Tea Party-backed primary opponent, said McConnell had “cut and run from yet another fight.” He did take to the Senate floor a number of times urging Democrats to negotiate.
Where he ended up: McConnell stepped in after two weeks of the shutdown, right before a potential default, and worked with Sen. Harry Reid to negotiate an end the impasse.
Where he goes from here: McConnell is up for re-election next year and his role in the efforts to end the fiscal impasse could help burnish his general-election credentials as a dealmaker. He vowed he would not permit another government shutdown. “I think we have now fully acquainted our new members with what a losing strategy that is,” he said.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas
Where he started: Cruz willed himself to the center of the fight. For months, he predicted that Democrats would cave if Republicans stood together to strip funding from the health care law. On Sept. 24, Cruz started a 21-hour speech on the Senate floor attacking the Affordable Care Act.
Along the way: Throughout the shutdown, Cruz vowed to keep pressing to dismantle President Barack Obama's health-care law. “This fight, this debate will continue until collectively the American people can make D.C. listen,” said Cruz.
Where he ended up: “This is a terrible deal,” Cruz said moments before the deal to reopen the government sailed through the Senate with bipartisan support. He blamed the defeat on colleagues who lacked the political courage to stand with him. The health care law survived unscathed. Cruz has won praise from Tea Party activists and other conservatives for his actions.
Where he goes from here: Cruz told ABC News he wouldn't rule out using the tactics again, when the same budget and debt questions come up next year. “I will continue to do anything I can to stop the train wreck that is Obamacare,” Cruz said.
Bipartisan congressional budget committee
Part of the agreement to end the partial government shutdown and suspend the debt ceiling was the formation of a bipartisan committee that will focus on longer-term budget problems and spending cuts. Sen. Patty Murray, chairwoman of the Senate Budget Committee, and Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, are leading the 29-member panel.
Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.
Where he started: House Republicans in September planned to include many of Ryan's ideas in a debt-limit measure. Instead, they echoed demands championed by Sen. Ted Cruz to strip funds from the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Obama's signature domestic achievement.
Along the way: Ryan's ideas for fixing the crisis weren't included in a Senate compromise.
Where he ended up: “By pushing his ideas, Ryan, 43, achieved little and complicated the shutdown end game by setting out different Republican demands,” said Ross Baker, a political science professor at Rutgers University in New Brunswick.
Where he goes from here: Ryan's limited role in the immediate talks risks diminishing his credentials before 2016, when the Budget Committee chairman could be a White House contender, said Julian Zelizer, a professor of public affairs and history at Princeton University in New Jersey.
Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.
Where she started: Murray, chairwoman of the Senate Budget Committee, was always a staunch opponent of any shutdown or default threat. “The very least we owe to our constituents is to not actively hurt them,” Murray said Sept. 30.
Along the way: Murray was one of five powerful female senators — on both sides of the aisle — who took the lead in driving negotiations and helped craft a final deal.
Where she ended up: Murray voted for the bill to end the shutdown and expressed “a deep sense of relief that this embarrassing episode is nearing an end.”
Where she goes from here: Murray is the lead Democrat on the congressional panel established by the shutdown-ending agreement to write a budget. She said the group will focus on a limited deal covering a shorter time period than the fiscal plan that Congress tried and failed to negotiate in 2011.
Other members of the Ryan-Murray budget conference committee:
Rep. Tom Cole, Okla.
Rep. Tom Price, Ga.
Rep. Diane Black, Tenn.
Sen. Jeff Sessions, Ala.
Sen. Charles Grassley, Iowa
Sen. Mike Enzi, Wyo.
Sen. Mike Crapo, Idaho
Sen. Lindsey Graham, S.C.
Sen. Rob Portman, Ohio
Sen. Pat Toomey, Pa.
Sen. Ron Johnson, Wis.
Sen. Kelly Ayotte, N.H.
Sen. Roger Wicker, Miss.
Rep. James Clyburn, S.C.
Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Md.
Rep. Nita Lowey, N.Y.
Sen. Patty Murray, Wash.
Sen. Ron Wyden, Ore.
Sen. Bill Nelson, Fla.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Mich.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, R.I.
Sen. Mark Warner, Va.
Sen. Jeff Merkley, Ore.
Sen. Chris Coons, Del.
Sen. Tammy Baldwin, Wis.
Sen. Tim Kaine, Va.
Sen. Angus King, Maine
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. (caucuses with the Democrats)
Compiled by Dan Golden and Courtney Pitts Mattern